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Konica Minolta’s latest Magicolor has nearly everything you could ask for in a sub-$1,000 color laser printer. It ships with built-in Ethernet and USB 2.0 ports and decent paper capacity, and, unlike many inexpensive color lasers, it includes PostScript Level 3.
Initial setup of the printer was a piece of cake. Its four toner cartridges come pre-installed and its compact size doesn’t take up too much desk space.
When you first turn on the printer, it makes a jarring chugging sound. It also does this between prints, and, from time to time, while idle. If you work in a small space, the noise could get annoying.
After installing the drivers from the included CD, I was able to connect and print via USB 2.0. When I tried to connect it to our local Ethernet network, however, I began having problems. The 2450 should show up as an available AppleTalk printer, but it didn’t. I printed a configuration page using the printer’s onboard menus to ensure that the printer had been given a valid IP address through DHCP. Then I clicked on the IP Printer tab of Apple’s Printer Setup Utility and manually typed in the printer’s IP address—after that, it was able to print. Interestingly, the 2450 is not Bonjour-capable, though its lower priced, non-PostScript sibling, the Magicolor 2430DL ( September 2005 ), is.;
A Konica Minolta technician came to our office and installed new firmware, and though it took up to five minutes for the printer to show up as an available AppleTalk printer, it did eventually, and I was able to print. Konica has since posted a new firmware file on its Web site as an available download for Mac OS X 10.4 users. The company said that many people were able to use the 2450 successfully in an AppleTalk environment without this update.
Once connected, it printed bright, accurate colors and clean text, though the text did seem a bit on the heavy side. The gradients in our graphics test page looked smooth with no banding and fine lines were unbroken. The printer includes a USB port on the front for printing directly from PictBridge-enabled digital cameras, and this printer does a great job with photographic images.
In terms of speed, the 2450 lagged behind other printers we’ve tested in this category—taking about an extra minute to print both the 10-page Microsoft Word document and the large Photoshop image. It was able to make up some lost time with the 4-page PDF print, however.
|10-Page Word test||2:17|
|22MB Photoshop image||3:30|
Times in minutes:seconds
|Graphics-Fine Lines, Gradients||Very Good|
|22MB Photoshop Image Quality||Excellent|
|Text Quality||Very Good|
Scale = Excellent, Very Good, Good, Flawed, Unacceptable
|Print Resolution||600 dpi|
|Connection||10/100 Ethernet/USB 2.0|
|Paper Sizes||up to 8.5x14 inches|
|PostScript Version||PostScript 3|
|Installed RAM /Max RAM||128 MB / 640 MB|
|Cost to Replace Ink/ Toner Carts||$340/low capacity ($85 for black per 4,500 pages; $85 each for C-M-Y per 1,500 pages) $475/high capacity ($85 for black per 4,500 pages; $130 each for C-M-Y per 4,500 pages)|
|Weight (in pounds)||44lbs|
|Dimensions (height x depth x width in inches)||13.4 x 19.8 x 16.9|
|Special Features||USB port on front for connecting cameras.|
Macworld’s Buying Advice
Now that Konica Minolta has worked out a couple of pesky network problems, the Magicolor 2450, with its bright, accurate colors, PostScript 3 capability, and reasonable price, will be a good bet for people who need a small workgroup, network color laser.
[ James Galbraith is Macworld ’s lab director. ]Konica Minolta Magicolor 2450